In the early 1800s, a young man named Gabriel organized a slave revolt in Virginia, which ultimately failed. Come August, Come Freedom is based on this true story, giving life to a man few know about today. The book includes excerpts from primary sources like letters and notices written at the time of these events. Mostly though, this is the story of Gabriel, his fierce love for freedom and his wife Nanny. He grew up as friends with a white master’s son who later proved a coward. Later Gabriel learned the blacksmith trade, like his father. He used this skill to make weapons for his failed revolt. Still, he came close to succeeding.
In many ways, this book is a love story. Gabriel’s relationship with Nanny is wonderfully portrayed here. Nanny is at the forefront of Gabriel’s thoughts from the moment they first meet in Richmond. Their love is strong and pure and serves as the emotional anchor of this book. Nanny is fierce in her own right, working alongside Gabriel on the Business (the code word used for the revolt). The book starts just after the end of the Revolutionary war and ends in 1804. This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn a bit more about this period in history.
Review by Jessica A.